Youth economic inclusion needed - Fransman

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pretoria - There is a need to empower the youth by all means necessary to secure a prosperous South Africa, and this can only be achieved through youth involvement in economic activities.

"Excluding the youth from participating in major economic activities must be something of the past and can only lead to disaster," said International Relations Deputy Minister Marius Fransman, who also called for youth to play a strategic role in driving the economy to greater heights.

Fransman was addressing a gathering of the Pan-African Youth Union (PAYN), which is an African Union platform to work in the fields of youth policies and development.

As long as issues such as youth-headed households, health and wellbeing, education and skills development, as well as youth unemployment remain inadequately addressed, the situation will remain a serious challenge with the potential of erupting into an "Arab spring" or even the violent riots playing out in the United Kingdom, where several shops have been looted and set ablaze.

"There is an urgent need now more than ever before to establish independent and practical structures to empower youth across Africa. This is the change that our youth yearn for, this is change they need the most - indeed this change that you have longed," said Fransman.

He urged the conference to close with a firm undertaking to support youth through collective efforts from government, its agencies, NGOs and other related structures, as a true demonstration of the fact that youth economic emancipation is key to the country's future success.

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